Tomatoes are a rich source of antioxidants and they are commonly used for meat cooking in Mediterranean countries. The effects of tomato antioxidants on the formation of carcinogenic/mutagenic heterocyclic amines were investigated. A liquid model system containing as precursors creatinine, glucose and glycine in molar concentrations comparable to those present in bovine meat (chemical model system) was employed. A freeze-dried bovine meat juice (meat juice model system) was also used for some experiments. In both model systems, an inhibiting effect of tomato carotenoid fraction on the formation of imidazoquinolines (IQx, MeIQx and DiMeIQx) was observed. Using carotenoid extract at a concentration of 1000 ppm, inhibitions of 36% and 11% of IQx and MeIQx formation respectively in the chemical system and of 13% of MeIQx and of 5% of 4,8-DiMeIQx in the meat juice system was observed. The effect of the main tomato flavonoid, quercetin, was investigated using the meat juice system. Quercetin gave an inhibition of MelQx formation between 9% and 57% with a maximum effect of 67% at 10 ppm.
- Heterocyclic amines
- Maillard reaction